There's lots of talk inside and outside the Pentagon, the Department of Energy, and of course the NRC, on the development of new generations of advanced design reactors as well as the Bill Gates-fueled buzz surrounding their tiny cousins known as mini or "pocket nukes".
Experts recognize the advantages that small reactors – sometimes called “grid appropriate reactors” - could bring to more resilient energy grid. The Department of Energy has established a small reactor program, and industry groups have held workshops on the topic. Foreign entities have embraced the idea; Toshiba has been marketing their “4S” reactor for a number of years.
While US utilities have mainly pursued fossil fuel generation options, which require less capital investment, the balance of nuclear expertise has shifted overseas. European nuclear generating capacity has been growing quietly and advances in Asia have been dramatic. Korea and China, in particular, have been building new plants, not only at home, but for exports throughout the developing world. US capabilities in nuclear power design, fabrication and construction have dwindled over recent decades, with the remnants of once-powerful US nuclear engineering companies, such as Westinghouse (Toshiba) and GE (Hitachi) being sold to foreign companies.
In a bid to save lives and money, the US Department of Defense on Tuesday presented its first plan to change how it uses energy at home and on the battlefield.
The strategy, which will be fleshed out this summer with a more detailed implementation plan, constitutes the Pentagon's promise to develop more energy-efficient weapons, embrace non-oil energy sources (Insert: No More Nukes!) and demand more energy-conscious behavior from the troops (Insert: What about the "leaders"?).
The plan is the Pentagon's broadest effort yet to come to grips with its huge and growing reliance on energy to carry out military operations. That energy dependence has proved especially costly in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, leading to soaring fuel bills and a dangerous reliance on vulnerable fuel convoys.
"The less [energy] we need, the more operationally resilient we will be," Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn said at a briefing. "We will increase military effectiveness while lowering our costs.
[AP] OSLO, Norway -- A Norwegian lawmaker has nominated WikiLeaks for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, saying Wednesday that its disclosures of classified documents promote world peace by holding governments accountable for their actions.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee keeps candidates secret for 50 years, but those with nomination rights sometimes make their picks known.
Snorre Valen, a 26-year-old legislator from Norway's Socialist Left Party, told The Associated Press he handed in his nomination in person on Tuesday, the last day to put forth candidates.
"I think it is important to raise a debate about freedom of expression and that truth is always the first casualty in war," Valen said. "WikiLeaks wants to make governments accountable for their actions and that contributes to peace."
Valen also announced his choice on his blog, where he wrote that WikiLeaks had advanced the struggle for human rights, democracy and freedom of speech, just like last year's winner, Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.
Valen cited disclosures of nepotism and corruption in Tunisia's presidential family, saying WikiLeaks "made a small contribution to bringing down" that regime.
Interim Health Director Dr. Neal Palafox Resigns Amid Unconfirmed Reports of Probe into Billing Fraud
(AP) HONOLULU - Interim Hawaii Health Director Dr. Neal Palafox abruptly quit Wednesday, the first of new Gov. Neil Abercrombie's Cabinet appointees to leave.
The reason for Palafox's resignation was a mystery, and he wouldn't say whether he was asked to resign.
Abercrombie's office said Palafox asked the Democratic governor to withdraw his nomination.
"Gov. Abercrombie accepted Dr. Palafox's request and will make a new appointment for the Health Director as soon as possible," spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz said in a statement.
The Attorney General's office wouldn't comment on whether it's investigating Palafox, said Joshua Wisch, special assistant to the attorney general.
Palafox, 58, said he was surprised when he heard TV news reports citing anonymous sources claiming he was under investigation for medical billing fraud.
"I get handed these e-mails about investigations and so forth, but I have no clue. I'm lost," Palafox said.
Delta IV Heavy launch. TV image from United Launch Alliance
The United States launched a classified spy satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California this afternoon -- and for a top-secret launch, the government was actually pretty open about it.
The satellite -- publicly designated NROL-49 -- was mounted atop a rocket 230 feet tall, known as a Delta IV Heavy. It is currently the tallest rocket in America's fleet of launchers, and when it leaves a launch pad, generating two million pounds of thrust, it is hard to miss.
It was the largest rocket ever launched from the West Coast. The Saturn V moon rockets and the space shuttles were built to generate more thrust, but they only launched from Florida.
"Launches like this have been seen all up and down the coast, as far as Los Angeles," said Mike Rein, a spokesman for the United Launch Alliance, which ran the launch for the National Reconnaissance Office. "And, of course, it leaves a vapor trail too."
Vandenberg is about 150 miles northwest of the Los Angeles basin. Officers at the base closed nearby roads and a park, did tests to make sure the vibrations from the launch would not break windows, and announced the planned launch time well in advance so that people would not think they were caught in an earthquake.
What was the rocket carrying? The launch team would not say, beyond a coy phrase on the ULA website that "this launch supplies the military's national defense mission."
_FINANCIAL TYRANNY: Defeating the Greatest Cover-Up of All Time
Section Two: The History
Section Three: The Real World
Section Four: The Occult Economy
(DivineCosmos) A 122-nation alliance is backing a lawsuit that could free the Earth from financial tyranny. This investigation reveals who the perpetrators are and what we can do to solve the problem.
JUST IN THE NICK OF TIME
2012 has begun as a year of rampant paranoia and hopelessness on the Internet and throughout mainstream media.
The economy appears to be in a dire predicament -- ready to go over a cliff into an abyss few can even allow themselves to consider.
The Euro has been teetering on the brink of total collapse. A frantic bailout of the entire European Union, proposed by the Federal Reserve, has done very little to relieve the fears of the public.
On December 19th, 2011, Britain announced they will refuse to participate in this bailout -- showing how tense and uncertain the situation really is.
Simultaneously, very aggressive and blatant moves are being made to start World War III in the Middle East -- with imminent, ever-increasing threats from Israel and the United States to attack Iran.
Since 9/11, Americans and much of the Western world have been led to believe that the biggest enemy they face is terrorism from Islamic extremists. Nonetheless, there is now overwhelming, undeniable evidence that the true enemy... is within.
You are about to read a comprehensive investigation summarizing all the best information I have gathered about the true nature of this crisis since I became directly aware of it in 1992.
Very few people are aware that a massive 122-nation coalition has formed to solve the problem -- just in the nick of time – and they are backing a legal, public solution to end Financial Tyranny.
A TRILLION DOLLAR LAWSUIT
A trillion-dollar lawsuit was filed as of November 23, 2011 -- and the resulting investigation will provide a rock-solid legal framework to reveal the full nature of the problems we face... and arrest those responsible:
Bear in mind that the evidence backing this lawsuit, if made public, will completely expose what has been going on at the highest levels -- by the people themselves, speaking in their own words.
This would be the most dramatic public expose' of the group responsible for this Financial Tyranny since the early 1800s -- as you will see.
Our initial announcement and confirmation of this lawsuit has already received over 650,000 hits, 34,000 Facebook Likes and 1000 written comments as we publish this final, completed investigation.
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